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Sustainable Textiles

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Design +3 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

Sustainability is about using techniques that allow for continual reuse of resources. Why might textile designers want to reuse scraps or reclaim waste fibers? What other things that get thrown away could be reused as part of a woven textile? 

ART MAKING CHALLENGE: Incorporate something recyclable in a hand-woven textile.  Consider color, texture, and how well it will perform for a particular purpose.  Would you combine the recycled items with traditional yarns or just use recycled items? Which method is likely to get the results you want?

Luisa Cevese: I Love Waste

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Silk thread waste

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Square Basket

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Reimagining Industrial Waste: Scraps + Polyurethane

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Sue Lawty on the Paper Vest

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Handwoven sample for a wall covering

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Hand-woven sample

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum